The “new” Mountain Madness is now in the books. To look out the window on Sunday, August 16, the day was beautiful with clear blue skies and sun shining. To stand on the road preparing to run either 14K or 30K in the searing heat and sun, the weather was a curse. The question of the day would not necessarily be who could run the fastest but who could run the smartest. We were all at the mercy of the weather and that would be the dictator of your speed. But there were also the hills . . . slam the downhills and you may likely kill your quads so bad as to not be able to climb the uphills powerfully. No matter how you looked at it, conquering this race would definitely be about strategy.
The next question would be who would have the better strategy? Runners competing in the 30K race would have to make a declaration prior to the start . . . were you a roadrunner or a trailrunner? This course had a mix of stuff that would suit both types, but which group would come out on top? Of the 24 finishers, 15 runners declared themselves as trailrunners with the remaining 9 heralding as roadrunners. There was a slight advantage in the numbers to the trailrunners – a tougher breed, I might add. What happened to all of the roadrunners? Still in bed or scared of the heat? The world may never know.
Anyhow, six of the top ten finishing places went to the trailrunners, who I am sure, loved the hills and the seasonal forest gravel roads. Top trail dog was Matt Tillotson, 16 year-old running phenom, who killed the course in 2:31:13. Not far behind was road-man Mark Thompson finishing in 2:33:00. Top trail woman Julie Staub finished in 2:51:36 with first roadie female Katie Stettler finishing in 2:53:28. Me? I finished fourth in the trail-ladies mix. Tough to say if knowing the course was of benefit or a curse. I always knew where I was and what I had left. This is my training ground, but I will never be fast on it . . . just consistent . . . and I am OK with that.
It was a fun day finishing off with a lawn-party at our home with those who were stalwart enough to hang-out until the bitter end. Burgers, beers, water, soda, and just good times hanging out with good friends. And very nice to be able to shower and nap prior to having to clean-up the party mess! This is the area where I run all the time, but it was Joe who realized what a challenging race it could make. Thanks, Joe! And thank you to all of our “regulars” who helped-out and to our neighbors who got their first taste of race volunteering.
Maybe next year there will be some new challenges incorporated to keep THE MADNESS alive!